With no Wimbledon this year you can fill that centre court-sized hole in your life by picking up your racket and getting your rally on.
However, if it looks like it’s just been on the receiving end of a John McEnroe temper tantrum, it’s probably not going to help your game much.
Upgrading your tennis racket can revolutionise how you play and lend your game real power and control, but you should choose carefully and tailor your choice according to the weaknesses in your game.
Rackets are engineered to compliment a playing style, whether that’s adding more power to a backhand or increasing the accuracy of a serve, while raising a player’s all-round game.
That’s what we were looking for with each racket, to see what aspect of a game it could amplify and whether it made us feel more confident to go for more adventurous shots and keep whoever was over the other side of the net pinned down with power.
With that in mind, here are the strings that we think can help raise your game and walk off a winner.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Head speed MP lite
For a very lightweight racket this has a good solid feel on court, which means that you can switch easily between booming, baseline forehands and shots that require a lighter touch at the net, like drop shots and reaction volleys.
Offering up lots of control, it’s a great option for anyone who doesn’t have the strength to swing around the heavier style of rackets that are used by the pros to produce maximum power.
Having said that, this racket packs a serious punch and rattled balls back over the net while its weight and balance meant that we didn’t feel like our arm was about to fall off after a long rally.
Buy now £207.00, Head
Yonex astral 115
The Yonex really helped with accuracy allowing us to zero in on areas of the court which would send our opponent scrambling. It also meant that we could really let loose with our spin and produce shots that would ask some serious questions of the player on the other side of the net.
Buy now £194.90, Tennis Point
If your serves are a little laboured, leaving you open to fizzing returns and lost points then this lightweight racket is a good option. Its stiff feel translates to plenty of head speed and topspin and a sizable sweet spot will also help beginners establish themselves in a game with plenty of speed and spin.
Buy now £69.99, Decathlon
Wilson pro staff 97TR
Co-designed by Roger Federer, this may not have you playing like the eight-time Wimbledon champ straight away, but it will allow you to power your way out of almost any tight spot. It’s a heavy racket, but this translates into plenty of power and stability to put even the toughest of opponents on the back foot.
Buy now £133.90, Tennis Point
Volkl v-feel 5
We found that the stiffer frame of the Volkl translated into a lot of power on court and the more open string pattern allowed for increased string movement on contact which meant that this racket was set up perfectly for spin.
The other advantage of this racket is that is is well balanced, meaning head speed was fast so we were able to get the ball up and down before the baseline with ease. This could be a real advantage if one of your biggest weaknesses is over hitting shots. All of these in-play advantages, lightweight construction and good shock absorption make this an excellent beginner’s choice or an intermediate that wants to amp up the spin in their game.
Buy now £140.83, Sweat Band Active Sport
Babolat pure aero VS
Another Babolat, which offers a player whose game relies on power and spin a chance to really take things to the next level. The materials used in the construction offer a real dampening effect when you strike the ball, which won’t take such a toll on your forearm – a real bonus if you end up in a five set thriller with your club nemesis.
However, what makes the Pure Aero such a versatile weapon is that it’s so easy to swing so it can really power up any one’s game – beginner or intermediate.
Buy now £185.00, Pro Direct Tennis
Prince tour 100P
If more control is needed in your game then this Prince racket delivers really accurate volleys and fore and backhands that actually go where you want them to and there’s plenty of ball speed on offer. A good option for regular players, looking to take their game to a next level.
Buy now £112.00, Pro Direct Tennis
Dunlop CX 200 LS
This is a real all rounder that’s light with an excellent combination of power and control so that it won’t let you down at the baseline or the net. It came into its own on high air shots like serves and volleys because we found it easy to get the racquet head to the ball with speed and control which gave us more time to target the ball back to difficult areas of the court so that we had our opponent scrambling.
This one really did feel like an extension of our arm and for that reason it’s a good choice for an intermediate player whose game is really starting to benefit from more technique.
Buy now £110.00, Pro Direct Tennis
Wilson clash 100
For any one with shoulder, elbow or wrist conditions this could be a really good choice because it’s set up to be really easy on the arm so you can play longer matches without it impacting on your performance levels.
There are good levels of power and we found that it was easy to direct the ball around the court and give your opponent the runaround, but you won’t lose out on touch shots, at or near the net, like drop shots and volleys. A good choice for intermediates because it will give you the confidence to really start to explore your game and take it to another level.
Buy now £159.19, Amazon
Babolat pure strike
This racket was superb at taking the sting out of an opponent’s shot and has a nice dampened feel, while the midsection gave us bags of control over power forehands and lots of spin when we needed it.
Buy now £134.99, Tennis Nuts
The verdict: Tennis rackets
No matter the surface the Head speed MP lite was very user-friendly offering a tangible performance boost to our game and its feather-light head offered real manoeuvrability and control. Combine this with lots of accuracy and this is a real all rounder that will boost confidence on court.